15:1 Some time later Absalom managed to acquire a chariot and horses, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. 15:2 Now Absalom used to get up early and stand beside the road that led to the city gate. Whenever anyone came by who had a complaint to bring to the king for arbitration, Absalom would call out to him, “What city are you from?” The person would answer, “I, your servant, am from one of the tribes of Israel.” 15:3 Absalom would then say to him, “Look, your claims are legitimate and appropriate. But there is no representative of the king who will listen to you.” 15:4 Absalom would then say, “If only they would make me a judge in the land! Then everyone who had a judicial complaint could come to me and I would make sure he receives a just settlement.”
15:5 When someone approached to bow before him, Absalom would extend his hand and embrace him and kiss him. 15:6 Absalom acted this way toward everyone in Israel who came to the king for justice. In this way Absalom won the loyalty of the citizens of Israel.
15:7 After four years Absalom said to the king, “Let me go and repay my vow that I made to the Lord while I was in Hebron. 15:8 For I made this vow when I was living in Geshur in Aram: ‘If the Lord really does allow me to return to Jerusalem, I will serve the Lord.’” 15:9 The king replied to him, “Go in peace.” So Absalom got up and went to Hebron.
15:10 Then Absalom sent spies through all the tribes of Israel who said, “When you hear the sound of the horn, you may assume that Absalom rules in Hebron.” 15:11 Now two hundred men had gone with Absalom from Jerusalem. Since they were invited, they went naively and were unaware of what Absalom was planning. 15:12 While he was offering sacrifices, Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s adviser, to come from his city, Giloh. The conspiracy was gaining momentum, and the people were starting to side with Absalom.
15:13 Then a messenger came to David and reported, “The men of Israel are loyal to Absalom!”